Like many communities along the Island’s shoreline, North Rustico is preparing for a storm surge to hit later tonight.
Sally Pineau, a member of the North Rustico Fire Department, said during a short interview by the town’s breakwater Wednesday as the surf pounded against the rocks, the town’s evacuation plan is ready to go in the event that the storm surge threatens homes or other infrastructure.
Town officials predict the surge will surpass the one in 2010 when a portion of the breakwater was destroyed.
Late Wednesday afternoon Environment Canada issued new storm surge and wind warnings for the province.
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“An intense low pressure system over the Gulf of St. Lawrence will develop a storm surge which will combine with the high tide this evening to give elevated water levels to the western and northern coastlines of the Island. “Additionally, rough and pounding surf is expected as a result of the strong winds associated with the system,” the warning said. Coastal flooding is possible along the shoreline.
Environment Canada said that it expects strong west to northwest winds gusting from 90 km/h to 120 km/h beginning this evening and will diminish to below warning criteria overnight as the low pulls away.
High winds may cause downed trees or toss loose objects.
Meanwhile, Prince County residents were busy digging out from a dumping of snow that prompted widespread cancellations and a day off work and school for many.
Earlier in the day, road conditions were poor, plows weren’t on the road and police were warning people to stay home. Businesses were closed and there were few people travelling Summerside’s streets.
The Department of Transportation has taken plows off the secondary roads in West Prince from Portage west due to poor visibility Wednesday night.
“Our salt trucks were first to be out on the streets very early this morning,” said the city’s director of communications, Lorri Laughlin, Wednesday afternoon. “Then our snowplows did their first run of the streets beginning between 10 and 11 a.m.
Island schoolchildren got their first storm day of 2016 as did those attending and working at UPEI and Holland College. Provincial government offices across the Island also closed for the day.
All elective surgeries and ambulatory care appointments at Prince County Hospital, public health nursing appointments in West Prince, Summerside and Souris and speech pathology and audiology services provincewide were cancelled.
Summerside Police Services, said that there were no accidents during the height of the storm.
“Salt trucks will be back out again after the first round of plowing is complete,” said Laughlin in the afternoon. “A second snowplow run may happen later in the day, depending on how much snow accumulates after our first run.”
The majority of Islanders stayed home and were posting on social media what they were doing, from marathon Netflix watching to taking naps.